5 Ways To Become An IBM Champion (Oct 15 Deadline)

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GreaterIBMers, are you a technical expert or educator who actively blogs, speaks at conferences or events, or authors books or magazine articles?  Or do you know someone who does?  If so, we invite you to learn more about the IBM Champion program.

Nominations are open through October 15, 2013 –  we’d love to see Greater IBMers nominated for this program!

5 Ways To Become An IBM Champion

An IBM Champion is an IT professional, business leader, developer, or educator who makes exceptional contributions to the technical community and influences and mentors others to help them make best use of IBM software, solutions, and services. The IBM Champion program recognizes these innovative thought leaders and rewards these contributors by amplifying their voices and increasing their spheres of influence.  An IBM Champion is not an IBM employee. IBM Champions can live in any country.

Here are five ways YOU can become an IBM Champion:

QUALIFICATIONS Examples
1 – Evangelize and advocate for IBM
  • Speaks at conferences, user group meetings, IBM events
  • Uses social media channels to help spread the word about IBM solutions and increase positive sentiment towards IBM
  • Helps IBM share specific messages around launches and announcements
  • Work within their own company or their customers’ companies to encourage continued use of IBM technology
  • Help customers make the most of the IBM technology that is installed (use of expanded features, broader adoption, and more)
  • Explores ways to reach outside the current community sphere to reach new audiences.
  • Partners with IBM about how to become better evangelists
2 – Share knowledge and expertise
  • Participates in online forums, answering questions and sharing expertise
  • Shares expertise through instructional videos, podcasts, interviews, and other support/teaching sessions
  • Shares knowledge via white papers, Redbooks, wikis, and/or wiki articles
  • Provide feedback and suggestions on IBM certification exams
  • Provide feedback and suggestions on product usability and documentation
  • Participate in usability activities to improve IBM products
  • Helps IBM improve on products and solutions by actively participating in beta programs, usability studies and other types of research
  • Organizes or connects people in their network to find support for issues
3 – Help grow and nurture the community
  • Uses social media channels (blogs, Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Connections, podcasting, and others) to drive awareness to community topics and events
  • Starts, leads and/or participates in local user group meetings and events
  • Participates in community webcasts and meetings
  • Helps mentor new community members and drive them to community sites
  • Guides community members so they know how to leverage information in the community (that is, help new people know where to go for help)
  • Participates in or leads activities to encourage sustained community activity and contributions
  • Implements new and innovative ways of growing the community
  • Communicates honestly, openly, professionally, and respectfully (for example, keeps private conversations private or complies with NDAs)
4 – Expand reach across the IBM portfolio
  • Finds ways to expand customer adoption of broad set of IBM capabilities
  • Integrates solutions across the IBM portfolio
  • Leverages IBM’s breadth of technologies to augment brand specific products
5 – Present feedback, both negative and positive, in a constructive and professional manner
  • Provides feedback in appropriate forums such as a design partner programs, or private discussions with target IBM contact who can affect or implement changes
  • Reaches out to appropriate contacts within IBM to share criticism or suggestions using clear concise, professional language
  • Any challenges, issues or problems you wish to resolve with IBM should be discussed with the appropriate IBM personnel in a private venue. Sharing frustrations in a public or social venue on issues that may reflect negatively on IBM, business partners and/or negatively impact revenue streams is not appropriate.

Nominations will be open until October 15th. The announcement of the new set of champions (including renewals) is currently planned for late November or early December.
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Related:

- Posted by Julie Yamamoto, Program Manager, The Greater IBM Connection

6 Reasons Why Tweet Chats Are Good for B2B

twitter platform popularity

Graphic Credit: B2B Marketing 2013 Social Media Infographic – What is the B2B social platform of choice for brands?

A Tweet Chat is a real-time chat, often scheduled on a regular day/time that are focused around a certain topic.  It started from the use of hashtags (the pound sign # plus a word, like #socialbusiness) which is how Twitter users signify the topics they are talking about.  Given that the most popular handle on Twitter today is Justin Bieber, why would you want to bother with a Tweet Chat as a professional?  Here are some of the key benefits.

1.  Right platform for B2B conversations

Facebook and YouTube may have the most users, but Twitter and LinkedIn rule the B2B space. While LinkedIn does offer forum type discussion posts within targeted business groups, it is a fairly limited with respect to live chat interactions. Twitter’s open platform makes it easy for businesses and marketers to host regular live chats on business topics to a broad audience (currently 500M+).  The openness of the platform also means there is a plethora of tools available to help you participate, host, promote, moderate, and track your Tweet Chats.  So if you have a business type topic, such as technology, marketing, career advice, leadership, Tweet Chats are your best bet for a live chat model.

2. Follow, not friend – public is the name of the game

On Twitter, you don’t have to ‘friend’ anyone to participate in the chat or reap any of the other benefits noted below.  Simply put, you’re on a social network that’s essentially public, so you can read anyone’s tweets by going to their profile, choose to follow them – or not, and participate in Tweet Chats on topics that interest you anytime without any participation barriers such as registration, approval by chat moderators, etc.  Twitter does provide a function whereby users can restrict their tweets only to an audience that they approve, but it is rarely used since it kind of defeats the purpose of being on Twitter, which is a public social network for all intents and purposes.

3.  Gain new insights

Tweet Chats done well will bring together influencers on a given topic space, so it’s a great opportunity to learn from other influencers, encounter new ideas, and gain insights on the major trends.  People often post links to valuable resources, such as white papers, infographics, and tools related to the topic as well, which can expand your thinking in new directions.  Tweet Chats are also one of the best ways to learn who the influencers in a topic space are.

4. Connect – build your network and extend your reach

Since a Tweet Chat is essentially a gathering of thought leaders on a given topic, it’s also a great way to expand your network and deepen relationships with your target audiences.  You may get new followers simply by showing up to Tweet Chats, but you certainly will gain new advocates if you contribute to the Tweet Chat in ways that are meaningful and relevant to the other participants.  The bonus here is that anytime someone else in the Tweet Chat likes what you say and re-tweets it during the chat, then you’ve also just been exposed to THEIR Twitter followers as well, potentially expanding your reach beyond just the Tweet Chat event.  You’ll come away with new followers who won’t just see your links and posts everyday in their Twitter feed, but they are more likely to re-tweet you after engaging with you in a Tweet Chat.

5. Learn how to stand out

Even if you just watch a Tweet Chat without participating, you’ll quickly learn what type of Tweets are picked up and re-tweeted multiple times.  You can test it yourself by seeing which of your 140 character attempts at insight, advice, factoids, or reference links gets picked up by the crowd.  If you take note of which of your tweets earns the best reactions and which are ignored, you’ll gain insight on how to make your tweets and content as eye-catching as possible.  As you apply this both to your regular Tweets and to any future Tweet Chats you participate in, you’ll start to build your realm of influence as people will see how often you are re-tweeted.

6. Build your authority and loyal advocates

Scientists have discovered that it really only takes 10% of the population to sway the popular opinion.  A Tweet Chat is a great way to share your expertise and thought leadership, build your authority and start engaging with that top 10% of influencers and thought leaders.  As you dialogue and build rapport with them, you will earn their respect and advocacy over time if you demonstrate consistent intelligence and expertise about your topic.  The more original and sound your insights are (as opposed to just re-tweeting others or pushing product), the more you will gain recognition as being a thought leader in your own right.  And, as you grow your network of loyal advocates, your own authority and expert status (influence) on the topic space will also grow because they will listen to what you have to say.

Graphic Credit:  MotiveQuest (based on

Graphic Credit: MotiveQuest (based on study ‘Social consensus through the influence of committed minorities’)

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Related:

- By Julie Yamamoto

Don’t Get This Wrong: What Your LinkedIn Pic Says About You

People do business with people they trust, people they relate to – is your photo trying to hide something? In this piece from LinkedIn.com, by , see how you can use your choice of photo to better connect with others for success.

A good profile photo can help build that trust and even likability – so it’s critical to get it right.

According to the author, “I see hundreds of LinkedIn profiles every week and 50 percent fail when it comes to their photo. As a business owner or executive, it’s crucial that people trust you and connect with you. You are the brand. Opinions are formed in a nanosecond. And that means the photo at the very top may be the most important part of your LinkedIn profile.”  What does that tiny thumbnail say about you?

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Author Rene Shimada Siegel is founder and president of High Tech Connect, a specialized consultant placement firm for marketing and communications experts. She is a frequently requested speaker on topics such as starting your own business and marketing your unique personal brand.
Follow Rene on Twitter: @renesiegel
 

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Greater IBM, are you considering updating your own LinkedIn profile photo? Let us know what you thought of this story, in the Leave a Reply field.
 
 
- Posted by Regan Kelly

IBM Software Enabling Companies to Reinvent Relationships with Exceptional Digital Experiences

IBM Digital Experience softwareIBM has announced new Digital Experience software that allows organizations to create customized digital experiences that reinvent the way they engage with their most important audiences: customers, employees and business partners.

Aligned with IBM’s Smarter Commerce initiative, the new software enables line-of-business employees from marketing, sales, HR and customer loyalty, to produce, share and distribute digital content on the fly, to all mobile and social channels — without the need for IT technical skills or outside assistance.

The growth of mobile, online, social media and commerce trends has spawned the rise of the digital consumer, which requires businesses to deepen their interactions with individuals, and accelerate data-driven decisions into functions such as marketing, sales, service and human resources.

Building on these demands, IBM’s Digital Experience software allows CMOs to provide customers with relevant information and offers that are based on their preferences and can be quickly published to all digital channels and mobile devices.

An example: while at a conference, marketing and event teams can develop professional-grade assets that incorporate client interviews, show floor footage, audio and text overlays, and in just a few simple clicks, publish it to the broadest range of social, mobile and online channels. Read the complete article on The Telegraph.

—- Posted by Khalid Raza

Social Business: A Metaphor for Sustainable Business

get socialFiscal performance alone cannot sustain future businesses. Success or failure will also be guided by societal relationship and environmental responsibility, says Jose Polackal, business development lead, government & education industry, IBM India.

We are now in a new era where the technological Zeitgeist is defined by how evolved social media is. And one way to look at it is this phenomenon called ‘Social Business‘. In the foreseeable future, social media will influence the performance of every business establishment and every government entity. Stakeholders (the consumers or the citizens), and not just shareholders, who are collaborating on social media are going to influence the business imperatives of every enterprise.

This means business has to concentrate more on three bottom lines – the triple bottom line being fiscal, societal and environmental and not the single bottom line. Fiscal performance alone cannot sustain future business; rather it will have to include societal relationship and environmental responsibility. Herein lies the importance of a social media strategy for every enterprise.

As of November 2012, Facebook had over 1.2 billion active users. There were over 500 million registered users in Google+ by the end of 2012. By the summer of 2013, Twitter had over 554 million active users. This social networking population is a significant subset of the 2.27 billion internet users in 2012, and on an average this is 20% of the world population.

This 20% of the world population may very well be controlling the consumer market (mainly the finished products) as they, probably, represent the population with the maximum buying power. Again, this 20% influence the governmental policies and the corporation and enterprise agenda for the future to a larger extent. This leads to the Pareto principle – 20% of the population chart out our future, and 80% follows.

Read the complete article, from timesofindia.indiatimes.com

- Posted by Khalid Raza

Bank on analytics for understanding customers better

IBM logoEver since the commercialization of the internet, and the advent of social media, customer-centricity has become a norm across industries. For banks in particular, this extends new customer touch points, implying the opportunity to relook at segmentation, channels and pricing. For example, banks can adopt a needs-based and behavior-based segmentation strategy by keeping a tab on client interactions over its channels. It is easier said than done. Banks will have to first understand how people bank, how often they bank and what products and services they seek when banking. Thanks to the power of analytics, it is no more a challenge for banks. Take the example of Central Bank of India. It recently announced the adoption of analytics solution in order to uncover new sources of customer value. Analytics, according to the bank’s spokesperson provides great levers for it to identify cross-sell and up-sell opportunities and increase customer wallet share.

Read the complete article in IndiaOnwards